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Educating health professionals to work toward health equity.

Policy Priorities

Structural Racism

As medical professionals, we see firsthand the effects of racism that have led to conditions in which people of color do not have the same opportunity as white people in Minnesota to live healthy lives. We stand in solidarity with all people protesting racial inequities. In doing so, we acknowledge that the health care system we are a part of has been complicit in upholding white supremacy and reproducing oppression. Our system wields incredible power and works diligently to maintain this power - often through decisions made to promote financial returns instead of improving health outcomes of the most vulnerable. One cannot both endorse our current health system and state that Black Lives Matter. We must do more.

Police brutality and the murder of Black citizens are the most visible manifestations of America’s “original sin” of slavery. Racism pervades the policies, procedures, and actions of our education, health, and governmental systems. Systemic racism must be addressed at every level - from individuals to health systems to the government. We believe everyone deserves to live a healthy life, regardless of their race, gender, age, income, or zip code. This is why we believe that Minnesota and its counties, world-renowned medical schools, health care systems, and insurance plans, should declare that racism is a public health crisis. Racial health inequities in Minnesota are among the worst in the nation, and we ask that organizations and government agencies dismantle racism or be held accountable.

To begin to address structural racism in health care we ask that organizations institute the following:

Paid Family & Medical Leave 

Key points: 

Increasing paid family and medical leave can increase Health Equity:

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Decrease Sugar-Sweetened Beverages (SSBs) in Children’s Meals 

Key points: 

Increasing access to healthy beverages can increase Health Equity:

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Housing is Health 

Key points: 

  • Minnesota Doctors for Health Equity supports the HomesforALL MN 2020 Legislative Agenda

  • “Where we live impacts every aspect of our lives. Where we call home affects the groceries we buy, where we send our kids to school, and how we thrive in our community. At every stage of life, where we live is the foundation for our health, education, safety, and economic well-being.”

  • Safe and affordable housing is a prerequisite for health.

Increasing access to housing can increase Health Equity:

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Civic Health: Voting Access

Key points: 

  • MDHEQ is proud to parnter with VotER (pronounced Vote. E. R.) to support the state's healthcare community engage with voter registration efforts.

  • VotER is a non partisan national organization working to engage clinicians in repairing our democracy. Because of the structural barriers that threaten the health of our patients, we as clinicians are called to action. VotER, through the Healthy Democracy Kit, is empowering clinicians to provide nonpartisan voter registration to patients.

  • VotER, in collaboration with MDHEQ, is also launching Civic Health Month in August 2020 to revolutionize the relationship between voter readiness and healthcare. We have a number of actions we are planning and would appreciate if you could join us to discuss ideas you have about ways to roll out this initiative in Minnesota.

  • Absentee ballots can be requested at this link.

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Expanding Healthcare Access 

Key points:

  • MinnesotaCare is a home-grown insurance plan for lower-income Minnesotans.

  • MinnesotaCare is less expensive than private insurance plans on Minnesota’s health insurance exchange, MNsure.

  • Allowing Minnesotans to purchase MinnesotaCare would increase health insurance options, particularly for individuals and families in rural Minnesota.

Increasing access to care can increase Health Equity:

  • At the most fundamental level, expanding access to healthcare saves lives. One American dies every 12 minutes from lack of health insurance.

  • Access to care has to be affordable. 13% of American adults -- or about 34 million people -- report knowing of at least one friend or family member in the past five years who died after not receiving needed medical treatment because they were unable to pay for it.

  • Beyond that, Increasing access to healthcare has wide ranging societal benefits beyond improving health. Increased access leads to decreased poverty and crime.

  • Increased access to treatment is a critical intervention in stemming the tide of opioid use in our country.

  • Minnesota has some of the WORST racial disparities in health in the United States. Expansion of access to care has been shown to decrease racial disparities in access AND health outcomes like diagnosis of and time to cancer treatment.

  • The Minnesota Health Care Task Force found that expanding MinnesotaCare would dramatically lower health care costs for many Minnesotans.

  • Public insurance is publicly accountable — recent removal of the Suboxone Prior Authorization requirements to address the opioid crisis and the Hepatitis C rule changes are examples of how the public is able to influence policy. 


Offer MinnesotaCare as an insurance option for all Minnesotans who purchase MinnesotaCare on MNsure


Educating health professionals to work toward health equity


Health Professionals will use their voice, knowledge, and influence to eliminate the inequities that exist in health and healthcare, while working effectively with their patients, health systems, communities, and decision makers to address health equity wherever they live, work, learn, and play.

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